There have been many trends developing in the gaming industry this gen. HD visuals, motion controls, casual vs. hardcore, PC vs. Console gaming, DLC, DRM, on-disc DLC, online passes, etc. Some are troubling, some are good for the industry, but there is one trend that really bugs me, “fanboyism”. I understand brand loyalty, consumers buy a product from a company, they like it, and they build a trust with that company. I trust ASUS as my motherboard provider, Nvidia for my graphics cards, Logitech for my peripherals (mouse, speakers, keyboard” and Intel for my CPU’s. My family buy’s Sony TV’s and stereo systems. We like Japanese cars. It’s all about reliability and trust.
Fanboyism is blind loyalty where the fanboy/girl is unable to see the faults of their company that they are loyal too and make it their personal goal to defame all other companies and make their company superior. When it comes to video games, the idea of fanboyism is absurd. In this case, it’s Nintendo vs. Sony vs. Microsoft. A Nintendo fanboy will say that gameplay > graphics and Nintendo has the best IP’s and innovates and they don’t need online and dvd playback. A Sony fanboy will say the PS3 has the best graphics, better controller, free online, and better exclusives. A Micosoft fanboy will say quality of exclusives and not quantity is what matters, the 360 controller is the best controller ever designed and Xbox live is far more superior to PSN. The Nintendo fanboy won’t mention Nintendo’s error’s like failing to differentiate the 3DS from the DS, selling it at $250 with no good launch titles and no big name titles until June (a port). They won’t mention Nintendo’s archaic online infrastructure with friends codes or their inability to convince third parties to develop for them. The Microsoft fanboy won’t mention the Red Ring of Death of the 360 and how many failed on people and had to be replaced. They won’t mention that Xbox Live is $65 a year and isn’t much better than PSN. They won’t mention the stolen account data from the past year that Microsoft hid from consumers. The Sony fanboy won’t admit the PS3 was overpriced, didn’t get great software until the “slim” console hit the market, and was hard to develop for. They won’t mention PSN being hacked and offline for over a month with a bunch of credit card numbers being stolen. They won’t mention the financial troubles of Sony either.
But this article isn’t about fanboyism. It’s not a rant about them. It’s about the idea of being loyal to a video game console instead of video games themselves. Video games are what sell consoles, we buy consoles to play games. Other features are great to have, but the primary feature of a game console and its main selling point is games. We buy games. We should be loyal to game franchises, not game consoles. My name is Kevin and I am loyal to video games. I am loyal to the Mass Effect series, Mario series, Zelda series, Metroid, Uncharted, God of War, Halo, Donkey series, etc. I am loyal to these games because I enjoyed them and I know their next iteration will be great. Many of the franchises I enjoy are only available on Nintendo consoles, but that doesn’t make me a Nintendo fanboy. I can see Nintendo’s faults and they make mistakes. They didn’t satisfy my cravings for online play and HD games. So after buying Wii I bought a 360. I enjoyed FIFA, NHL, Halo, Gears of War, BioShock, Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect on it. But, having owned a PS2 I knew I was missing out on some great exclusives that I wanted to play, so I bought a PS3 to play Uncharted, God of War, InFamous, Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, Final Fantasy, and Mortal Kombat. Those are all franchises I enjoy and in order to play them, I purchased all three consoles. I also enjoy Starcraft II, Crysis and SWTOR, and to enjoy that I need a PC. So I built a gaming rig. I bought a 3DS to play first party Nintendo titles. I bought a Vita to play console like games on a handheld.
It’s ridiculous that most fanboys argue when most of the games are available on both platforms (360 vs. PS3 mostly) when in essence it’s the same game. If you say one positive thing about one and one negative thing about the other, you are branded as a fanboy. I’ve been branded a fanboy of all three console makers despite owning all three of them plus the two handhelds and buying games for all three of them and not having a preference between them (my favourite is when in the comments on an N4G article I am accused of being both a Sony fanboy and Xbox fanboy in the same comments section).
My point is, we shouldn’t be loyal to a console and brag about it and defend it to the death. It’s just a platform that lets us play games we enjoy. We should defend our games that we enjoy, whether it be Zelda, or Uncharted, or Fable. Are arguments should be about which Assassin’s Creed was the best? Which Zelda was the hardest? Is Uncharted a better action-adventure game than God of War? Which part of the game was the most fun? How was the ending? A good analogy would be judging a company based on the experience of one employee. If you walk into a Wal-Mart and some cashier treats you like a piece of **** are you going to assume all Wal-Mart’s are like that and thus you avoid all Wal-Mart’s in the future? No, that would be ridiculous. It’s an isolated incident that shouldn’t change your perception of the company as a whole. Don’t hate on Nintendo for catering to different markets then the PS3 and 360. Don’t brand them as “kiddy” because of their selection of games. They offer many games for different ages as does the PS3 and 360. If motion controls aren’t your thing that’s fine, but don’t hate Nintendo for trying to innovate and don’t assume all titles incorporate the motion control. Try some titles out first. Don’t give it some negative stereotype that it’s a waggle kiddy machine. Don’t hate on Microsoft for making a hardware design flaw that causes the RROD, it wasn’t intentional. Don’t hate them for trying to cater to a bigger demographic with Kinect. Don’t hate Sony for overpricing their consoles when they are trying to introduce new cutting edge tech in the industry.
No more of this dumb “you suck, you got Mortal Kombat for 360 so you don’t get Kratos lolololol” or “PS3 Skyrim lags hard you suck, shoulda bought a 360!!!!” or “Wii is for grandma’s and kid’s, it’s only good for Mario and Zelda and it’s not HD”. We all have preferences. Some prefer the Dualshock 3 as a controller, some prefer the 360 controller. Those decisions should shape which console you will purchase the game for. But don’t make others feel like **** for not owning or supporting the same console you do. We all have our preferences in control methods, video game franchises, and price ranges. If you prefer single player focused games than purchase a PS3 or Wii. If you prefer online games purchase a 360. If you want an all in one entertainment system with blu-ray get a PS3. If you love innovative tech, get a Wii for its motion control or a Kinect 360 for its controls. If you’re rich or can’t decide which is best or have a huge gaming appetite like me, purchase all three and appreciate them for what they are, warts and all. Don’t offend others for not having similar tastes as you.
Don’t try to defend a company blindly and not see its faults. Enjoy what you have, enjoy the freedom of choice, and let other’s enjoy what they enjoy. Life is too short to be arguing over which piece of hardware is more superior and why, when they both serve the same function and offer similar experiences.